Attorney Lisa Bloom earned a reputation as a feminist and civil rights lawyer, so when she chose to represent disgraced movie executive Harvey Weinstein against accusations of sexual harassment, she faced a lot of criticism. Even her own mother, attorney Gloria Allred, had something to say.
Bloom stepped down from her role on Saturday, but now she’s explained more fully why she took on the job of defending Weinstein in the first place.
“I saw this as a unique opportunity to change the way these stories go,” Bloom told The Hollywood Reporter this week. “In the case of Donald Trump, in the case of Bill O’Reilly, in the case of Bill Cosby, it’s always the same playbook. When the story comes out, attack the accuser, deny, deny, deny, and fight like hell.”
Bloom said that because she had represented so many accusers, she thought the Weinstein case might give her a chance to do things better.
“I know how damaging that is to them, how hurtful, how scary. It’s emotionally devastating,” she said. “Because I had had that experience so many times with so many women I thought changing the response from the accused to immediately apologizing, expressing remorse, vowing to do better and never disrespecting the accusers would be a good thing for the victims.”
She admits she was wrong: “It turns out nobody is ready to hear an apology when a shocking story comes out.”
Bloom believes that Weinstein was “genuinely contrite and wanted to change,” but accepts that others didn’t think he was sincere.
“People were so shocked by the allegations that the felt the apology was hollow, that he had to say that,” she said. “He didn’t have to. I think it’s very hard to hold in our minds two competing concepts. One: He did horrible things. Two: He’s handling things the right way now. Can we hold both of those concepts in our minds? For many people the answer is no.”
Bloom admits being surprised by the backlash ― especially from her mother ― but hopes to learn from it.
“I have heard the anger with me. I have given it deep thought. I believe in listening to people when they tell me they’re upset with me,” she said.
Read her full explanation at The Hollywood Reporter.